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Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!

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PastryGoddess:

--- Quote from: RingTailedLemur on August 26, 2013, 01:40:22 PM ---
--- Quote from: PastryGoddess on August 26, 2013, 12:24:17 PM ---That's what the standardized tests (SAT/ACT) are for.  The questions for the tests are the same throughout the country each year.  The more selective colleges not only have a minimum SAT score, but they also have a minimum Reading and Math score as well.

--- End quote ---

But what do they test?  Do you have individual marks for sciences, geography, history, art etc etc?

--- End quote ---

The SAT tests reading, writing and math skills only.  each section is scored separately which are then added up to give a total SAT score.  Most colleges and university ask for a minimum combined SAT score. The more selective colleges not only require a minimum combined SAT score, but also have minimum reading, writing, and math scores.  You can score from 600-2400.  When I took the test it only went up to 1600. 

The ACT is a more comprehensive test.  It has 5 sections: Reading, Mathmatics, English, Writing, and Science.  You can get a combined score between 1 and 36.

There are also SAT Subject Tests which test in only one subject like math, writing, foreign languages, and history.  Those tests are used to test out of required core classes in college/university.  There are 20 of them.

Contrary to popular belief, most colleges accept both the SAT and the ACT equally. There is a chart which correlates the SAT and ACT scores. I took both tests.  I got a 1400 on the SAT and a 32 on the ACT.  Because my ACT score was worth a little more than my SAT score, I submitted those scores to the colleges I was interested in after culinary school.

RingTailedLemur:
Thank you.

Sophia:
U.S. Colleges are drifting more toward requiring subject tests, particularly the more academically challenging ones.  AP, Advanced Placement, are subject tests that are supposed to be at a college level and if you get a high enough score you can skip the matching college class.  But, now universities seem to think that they are watered down.  They like to see them, and they like to see a high score, but many colleges don't give real credit for it. 
Some, Rice for example are requiring a certain number of SAT-II tests which are subject tests. 

PastryGoddess:
Yeah, when I was in high school (10+ years ago), my school district was one of the few in the state that offered AP courses in almost all of the high schools and had the most magnet schools as well (15 out of 25)  I remember my guidance counselors telling me that it would be very smart to take these classes along with the SAT subject tests to prepare for college.  Even students who were not in the magnet program or the AP program were encouraged to study for the SAT subject tests and there were special study courses offered.  Now however most of our state's school districts offer AP courses and specialized study courses for the SAT Subject tests.  My state often comes in #1 or #2 in the list of best states for education.  But then again we are a small state and so our ratios are a bit skewed

Library Dragon:
Some high schools are beginning to phase out AP classes because students are preferring to take dual enrollment courses.  (College classes are taken and the students receive credit for both high school and college.)  MY DSs both graduated high school with about a semester of college under their belt. 

In DS1's instance the instructor from the local community college came to the high school.  The local Catholic high school takes their students to a local major university. 

The cost for us as parents equaled out for community college tuition vs. the costs involved with AP courses.  While DS1's ACT scores weren't amazing he received big scholarships from the all the schools where he applied (he actually had a scholarship offer from a school he didn't apply to).  He had a proven track record for doing A level college work. 

I on the other had arranged my entire undergraduate studies so I would never have to take the SAT or ACT because they scared me witless.  I did the Miller's Analogy Test for graduate school and did well enough I earned a smarty pants rep among other school librarians.  No, I never mentioned it unless specifically asked. 

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